Friday, January 28, 2011

Dance I will indeed

Day 28: Dancing to the Music on the metro
When I get off work early at 8 pm on a Friday, the family is out of town, I have the whole evening and weekend to myself, and the first song to come on my iPod is Dance to the Music, I feel like it sums up my sentiments exactly and spices up an otherwise uneventful day.  I was dancing on the inside, though, the metro was a little crowded.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Happy belated Australia Day

Apparently January 26th is Australia Day (like 4th of July, I think?) and so I celebrated at the WOS Australia Day Beach Party (a lot of fun when it's literally freezing outside) in my new favorite Paris souvenir, my official WOS Bar bikini.  Good times had by all, although the next morning (and the whole day after) was not as much fun.  I'm getting too old for this.

Day 26: me and Matty, my favorite
Scottish barman/wearer of kilts
No, I was not the only one in swimwear, although the background of this picture would seem to imply that.  Most of the guys there were people I knew or had met before, regulars to the bar, and the door man Issa wasn't letting in any guys that the bartenders didn't know or guys without girls with them.  So the creepers were kept at bay and it was a pretty comfortable atmosphere, with a few girls rocking the full bikini (I turned my dress into a skirt and wore it for most of the night, it's hard transitioning to swimsuit season when I've been covered wrist-to-ankle, Puritan style all winter).  The guy in the picture is Matthew (aka Matty by many) from Scotland.  He works at WOS and was actually wearing a kilt ("Scottish beachwear," or so he says).  Thankfully all the guys that dressed up were in board shorts (or kilts) and not speedos, which I'm told the French prefer.  Alex repped Florida with a frattank. (note to Mom and others: if you don't know what a frattank is and decide to do a google image search for "frattanks," one of the first things that comes up is a tank that says "Party with sluts"...these are not the kind of frattanks I am referring to.  This was a much classier frattank, if you can have the words "classy" and "frattank" in the same sentence. Don't judge Alex based on that google search alone.)

Day 27: I hope he hammers his thumb
Anyway, so the late night (thanks to missing the metro) and the hangover were not the only reasons my morning was unpleasant; apparently someone thought it was a good idea to give this neanderthal a hammer and let him loose in the courtyard of my building every morning at 8 am. I hate him.  He's actually hard to see in this picture but it illustrates my point.  Why are you out to get me with your banging and drilling, construction man?  WHY?  I guess normal people have normal jobs and are probably awake by then anyway, they are just jealous of my ability to sleep all day if I wanted to (the grass is always greener on the other side kind of thing...if they only knew about my job).  

Speaking of my job, I found my keys, they were in the little red pocket just like I thought.  Aren't I clever, figuring that out?  What really would have been clever would have been me paying attention to what I was doing with someone else's house keys.  Christine did tell me they would be expensive to replace, so I'm glad I don't have to foot that bill.  I like feeling competent again.

Oh, and I forgot to add these photos of some urban wildlife (contradiction in terms? perhaps) I found while photographing the deceivingly-named Palais des Congrès the other day:

  This was in the little park in the middle of the intersection in front of the building, it's literally an island in the middle of a roundabout they've converted to a miniature park.  How in the world did these poor little bunnies get there through all the horrendous traffic?  I wonder if they are being put there to make Parisians feel more connected to the "country" they seem to love so much.  I kind of felt like I was on one of those private hunting properties, where they stock up on animals just so people can gun them down.  Doesn't seem like hunting if you have to bring the animal to you, I thought the point was to go find the animal, but hey, whatever it takes to remind you you're still on top of the food chain.  I always liked rabbits, too bad I'm allergic to them and they make my eyes itch.  It really makes me sad when I go into pet stores.  Maybe I'll try again one day, I know a woman whose allergies seem to just come and go.  Maybe mine has hopped off somewhere else.

One last thing: is my new favorite way to waste free time.  Who knew owls made so many hungover faces?  The guy who made this blog apparently.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Still no keys, because I'm irresponsible...

So I searched my apartment for the keys, even though I'm certain they're not here.  The last time I used it I was coming back to their apartment from the grocery store downstairs, and then on the way home that night I noticed they weren't in my purse.  The only place I was in between these times was their apartment.  I didn't take my coat to the grocery store so I didn't put it in my coat pocket, they would be too big for my jeans pockets, and my hands were full which is why I think I didn't put them back in my purse (that would take an extra hand).  So logically, I must have put them down on the counter somewhere but now they are AWAL and I have a feeling Christine is pissed that I can't find them.  BUT I have an inspiration, I'm wondering if I tucked them into the little red money purse that she gives me to go grocery shopping with...I'll just have to wait til I get back to their apartment to check.  But they HAVE to be somewhere in their apartment. Unless some dinner party guest picked them up by mistake?

All I know is that these keys are not normal keys like we have and will probably cost a lot to replace, assuming Christine doesn't panic and change the locks, which she would be fairly justified in having me pay for.  Ugh...I hate being the irresponsible one.

2 steps forward, 1 step back

...meaning that just as I was impressed that I was not asked to wait tables, I was asked to do the Boy's homework for him.  I think I mostly got out of it by saying something along the lines of "If you really think that's what's best for your son then I can't tell you differently, but I think reading his book for him and underlining the parts that answer his homework questions is a bit over the top."  Besides, turns out most of the questions are opinion questions anyway.  I could answer them very elaborately and with vocab that is over his head, maybe the teacher will catch on...or maybe in France this doesn't count as cheating.  Crazy people.

Anyway, here are pictures from the last 2 days:
Day 24: Palais des Congrès, which has nothing to do with Congress. 
Day 24: 1-24-11 (happy birthday mom!)

First there is the Palais des Congrès, which, surprisingly to me, has nothing to do with Congress but is in fact a concert venue and convention center.  It is also massive and that combined with the small park across the street with trees on all sides prevented me from getting a shot of the whole thing.  It's pretty ugly anyway.  It does sit pretty well between the Arc de Triomphe and La Defense, serving as a "modern meets classic" segue for leaving Paris and entering the ultra-modern business district of La Defense to the west.  I am, however, removing it from my Axe Historique lineup because it is neither historic or significant as a monument and was rather disappointing.  That'll show them...

Day 25: TV/"Arch" of La Defense, last on my Axe Historique project.
Today was La Defense, more specifically La Grande Arche de La Defense.  It's actually a square, not an arch, but the line on the concrete down the middle illustrates the axis.  It's actually about 6 degrees off because the metro/RER station underneath prevented the foundations from being placed directly in line, which interestingly mirrors the slight angle of the Louvre on the other end.  Also, note the grisaille Parisienne that Parisan winters are so famous for.  It's not getting depressing in the slightest bit...

Oh, and I might have lost the family's apartment key, although I really think I left it at their apartment so if it disappeared from there it's their own fault (I tell myself).  Keys here are really strange and seem like they'd be expensive to replace...oh dear.

On the bright side, if one can be found in this dismal weather, happy birthday Mom!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Another night as a kitchen maid, but at least I'm not playing waitress

There was another dinner party, and while Christine asked if I would mind staying late to help (asked this time, instead of just telling me she thought it would be good if I helped), she did not ask me to leave the kitchen, so she obviously remembered the whole "domestic servant" conversation we had.  She's being a good sport, so I can play ball too, but I had no qualms helping myself to some baguette and a bit of wine while I sat in the (quiet) kitchen alone. These French people know what's up.  I left with a healthy buzz and from the sound of it so did most of the guests so I guess we all had a good night.

Day 22: Alex et moi at Le Tribal Cafe.
Anyway, Saturday I went to this place called the Tribal Cafe, which I had read about online but had never been to.  I got off the metro and Alex was not there yet, and the place was a little sketchy (we found the Paris hood, apparently...on the bright side I found a nice place to get some weave).  He got there a few minutes later and we found this place in some alleyway, and there were only 2 other people there.  However, the drinks were pretty cheap (3.50 normally, 2.50+ during happy hour, which we were right on time for).  Around 8:30-8:45 the place started to fill up, and at 9 pm they started passing out silverware and napkins for the free plate of chicken and cous cous they give out every Friday and Saturday night with a drink purchase.  Wednesday and Thursday it's moules-frites (mussels and french fries, weird I know).  I don't know how they make money like this, but we left full and happy.  I'll definitely be coming back on future Saturdays, and the rest of the week for vacations (food gets a little expensive when I'm not eating with the family during vacations).  Note to self (and others): Kir = pink wine, not beer.  A little sweet for my taste, but not awful, especially not for 2.50 euros a glass.

Day 23: La Defense from the Arc de Triomphe
Sunday the weather was gross and so I avoided going outside.  I meant to take my picture of the day at the bar for the Packers game (it was pun intended) but I forgot to, I guess I'll have to save that for the superbowl party in a few weeks.  Anyway, since I missed my photo op, I cheated a bit, and I'm using a photo from the day I climbed the Arc de Triomphe, but it is still relevant. The view is along the Axe Historique, to my 2 next stops on the photo journey: Palais des Congrès (near the green patch) and the Grande Arch de La Defense (the big square, they call that an "arch"...thank you, 1980s).  So forgive my slacking, but sometimes bad weather permits it.

All in all, that's all the news. I already put my camera away so I'll load today's picture later. It's late and I've discovered a new website called that, for obvious reasons, demands my attention.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Dear Mom and Dad:

For being 13 (and 14, and 15, and all of those difficult ages); for not coming to the dinner table after you prepared a meal you were probably proud of and watched it get cold or go uneaten; for yelling about the stupidest things that were so unimportant I can't even remember them; for all the times you just did something yourself because you were tired of asking me over and over to do it and of it still not getting done; for all those knife-marks-on-the-kitchen-counter kind of moments....

I am so sorry.

For the possibility of never giving you more grandchildren, I make no apologies.

Friday, January 21, 2011

I just found my statement of purpose for grad school...

Just when I start to like France it decides to let me know that it hates me right back.  Actually, this isn't France's fault, so much as the people I work for.

A few days ago, the Boy was doing geometry and told me that women don't need to learn geometry because all they do is cook, clean, and go shopping.  I told him he's had some piss-poor role models if that's what he thinks, but brushed it off because it really is a fairly accurate reflection of the women in his life.

Last night at dinner Christine mentioned to Frank and the Boy that she wants to get a job and work, which, considering my general opinions of stay-at-home moms and the quality of the children they produce, seems like a great idea to me.  According to Frank and her son, it's "ridiculous."  I told her that her son could probably use some working female role models and told her and Frank his comment out geometry.  Not only did Frank find this hilarious, but he then proceeded to tell "jokes" (in quotations because they weren't really funny, not because they are sexist - even I can appreciate a good offensive joke occasionally - but because French people just aren't that funny to me) about how women belong in the kitchen washing dishes, etc. etc.  I'm sorry, the 1950s want their jokes back.

I should put this on refrigerator and see their reaction...
I'm starting to wonder if this is the general attitude in France as a whole.  Several days ago, while researching the possibility of getting another job in Paris and being able to quit mine while still staying here, I stumbled upon an article about French women in the workplace.  The gist of it: women aren't taken that seriously.  French women apparently will give up their careers no questions asked to raise their families.  Sounds great, but all that means is that male employers are hesitant to hire women because their work will almost definitely be affected if and when they have children.  Women working is seen as "incidental and not necessary," while it is the exact opposite for men.

Examining the subject further, I found an article about Nicolas Sarkozy's political opponent during the 2007 presidential campaign, Segolene Royal.  Although her resume appears to mirror Sarkozy's, she was generally said to be less experienced, was constantly critiqued for her clothing and appearance, and even referred to as a "bitch," initially by those in her own party during primaries, and later by the conservative opposition.  As much as I'd like to sit here aghast at how French female politicians are held to a different standard than their male counterparts, it sounds eerily similar to a certain Democratic primary election only a few years back...

Maybe I'm just lucky to have had women in my life who early on showed me the benefits of being an independent, self-reliant person (thanks, Mom, for having a brain and some ambition).  And maybe I've just overlooked this kind of thing in my own life for years, and am only noticing it here because I'm looking for reasons to dislike these people.  However, whenever jokes or comments like the ones at dinner were made in America, I was always around people who I knew were joking, and now I'm not really so sure that's the case.

I never liked the idea of being labeled a feminist, because there are so many negative connotations that go along with the word (similar to, for instance, "liberal" or "frat boy" or "Sarah Palin").  But, similar to how I have recently found myself wanting to smack Republicans in the face every time they open their obnoxious mouths (though that would be admittedly difficult to do from another continent, and quite possibly illegal), I think it may be time to recognize a trend.

On the bright side, regardless of how I choose to identify, I am suddenly extremely motivated to get my masters and make more money than any guy I've ever dated.  I think I might even get a personal statement out of this.


Day 21
EDIT: Oh, and here's my day 21 photo, the Arc de tTiomphe, stop 6 on the Axe Historique. 2 metro stops down the road from me. The circle is called Place de Charles de Gaulle, or also known as Place de l'Etoile, it is known throughout Europe for it's crazy round-about that serves as an intersection of 12 roads and to which the normal rules of driving do not apply. I've even been told that rental car insurance won't cover you if you get in an accident here, which seems extremely likely but surprisingly almost never seems to happen.  I guess they are better drivers than they let on.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

For Mom, because I've been promising and not delivering.

I will edit this post later with more info. Alex Yarbrough is studying abroad in Paris this semester so I hung out with him a few nights, ended at WOS 3 nights in a row, did some swimsuit shopping with Pierre for the beach party (swimsuits to sell, not for me to wear), and finally climbed the Arc de Triomphe, so I can cross it off my list of touristy things to do in Paris. All in all, I think Paris is warming up to me once and for all.

Day 13: Jardin des Tuileries, stop 3 on the axe historique

Day 14: soup a l'oignon

Day 15: Christophe stopped by for lunch before heading back to Benin

Day 16: Obelisk at Place de la Concorde, stop 4 on the axe historique

Day 17: les soldes!

Day 18: Midore for cafe-croissant without my partner in crime.

Day 19: I like this house on Malesherbes
Day 20: Champs Elysees, stop 5 on the axe historique, from the top of #6, the arc de triomphe

More to come, I promise. Kids have been good lately, I even had a lovely conversation with the boy over dinner last night (about the death penalty in America, but a conversation nonetheless). Sorry to keep you waiting, Mom.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Axe Historique, my new photo goal

I've decided for the next few days to photograph the major sights along the Axe Historique, "a line of buildings, monuments, and thoroughfares that extends from the center of Paris, France, to the west." (from Wikipedia).

Starting closest to the center (denoted by the A), and at the oldest point on the axis, the main points are:
1. The Louvre (off kilter by just a few degrees)
2. Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel
3. Jardin des Tuileries
4. Place de la Concorde
5. Champs Elysees (from which one can see both the Grand and Petit Palais and the Palais de l'Elysees, the presidential Palace)
6. Place de l'Etoile, with the Arc du Triomphe
7. Palais des Congress (on the perimeter of Paris)
8. Grande Arc de la Defense

I guess I've kind of known this line existed but never gave it much thought until I stumbled upon the wikipedia page for it (

So with that in mind, here are the most recent photos:
Day 11: the Louvre
Day 11: The Louvre.  I wanted to get a little more creative with the photo, 1) because I've pretty much already taken this photo and 2) it's not that original, but this is probably the most recognized shot; none of my others were very Louvre-y, so the Pyramid it is. Started as a 12th century fortress (the foundations of which are still visible in the basement...very cool) and continuously expanded until it was abandoned by Louis XIV for Versailles, it was turned into a museum during the French Revolution. Frankly when I went I found the architecture more interesting than the art, but I need to go back and check out some of the more interesting parts (doing it all in one day is exhausting just thinking about it).

Day 12: Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel
Day 12: the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel. Built by Napoleon as a testament to his military victories (contrary to popular belief, the French have had some military victories and like to flaunt them whenever possible) on the site of the fomer Palais des Tuileries (no longer in existance).  I got the Eiffel Tower in there too, because really, what's a Paris picture without the Eiffel Tower to spruce things up?

So I'm working my way down the axis; tomorrow will be the Tuileries; maybe eventually a picture showing how well everything really is lined up (if the weather gets clear enough again to see that far).

So on another note, I applied for a job today with the City of Atlanta.  There's probably no chance I'll actually get it, but it's my first "big-girl job" application.  It's a milestone.  The idea of leaving early is starting to really appeal to me.  It would give me a lot more time to set up this whole job-apartment-moving-to-Atlanta thing.  And I'm really getting tired of these obnoxious kids.  The two of them are so needy and dependent and immature that they are practically special needs children.  I don't even hold it against Christine anymore, if they were my kids I'd want someone else to take care of them too.  Then again, she did it to herself by raising them that way, so no sympathy from me.  But they're exhausting, and I don't know if I can make it another 7 months.  Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, I can't find where it specifically said when I'm supposed to be here until.  Oh God, I'm trapped...

Monday, January 10, 2011

Proof that the sun shines in Paris (sometimes)

Photos from this weekend. The weather was wonderful (I say that while still in boots, a coat and a scarf...I'm brainwashed). Proof that the sun does actually shine in Paris.

Day 8: Rue Cler market street
Spent Saturday (aka day 8) with Leanne who is apparently recovering from some sort of stomach flu. I ate lunch at a boulangerie on Rue Cler, which is a market street in the 7th.  There are lots of market streets all over, but this one is very well-known.  This is the standard way of shopping in France; grocery stores where they have everything in one place are considered secondary.  You get your meat from a bucherie, cheese from a fomagerie, fish from a poissonnerie, etc., etc.  Pictured here is a bit of Rue Cler, with the corner of the floriste on the left, the green-and-white-striped marchand de fruits et legumes, and the blue vertical sign is the poissonnerie. The lights above are left over from Christmas.

Day 9: Paris is for lovers

Sunday I decided on falafel for lunch so I made my way over to le Marais, the traditionally Jewish but now a bit gay area in the 4th arrondissement (in the center). Since the Jewish sabbath is Saturday, everything is open on Sundays (whereas a lot of other places close) and all the tourists are out and about taking advantage of that fact. I took my falafel to one of the quais that is open to pedestrians and ate on a bench across from Isle de la Cite, where Notre Dame is located (hence the skyline). This couple started making out soon after I took this picture, which was awkward when I first got here but now I'm pretty used to it...there seems to be no rule against the PDAs here in Paris. I guess when you are in a city as known for romance as Paris is you can't really avoid it. City of Lights my butt, City of Public Makeout Sessions would be more accurate.

Day 10: my new favorite lunch
Got this awesome sandwich from a boulangerie somewhere in the 7th near Ecole Militaire.  Lettuce, tomato, hard-boiled egg and smoked salmon with what I think was mayonnaise on what they call "Sweedish" bread (Suedois, in French) which is essentially square pita. I've decided that I would enjoy Paris a lot more if I stopped being cheap and started spending money on decent food every day. It's one of my favorite things, and I'm in a place that is world-renowned for its cuisine, and, to quote Lauren Borden, "life is too short to not eat good food."  So no more honey nut cheerio lunches; I'm being more adventurous with my menu and my wallet. Considering this sandwich cost me almost 4 euros, it will definitely be an adventure for my wallet. But there are few things that I find more worth spending money on than food.

Also, Leanne (who has complained that I don't write about her, so here goes) just broke the news that she will be leaving at the end of February.  I am going to come back to the States with serious abandonment issues.  It has got me thinking, though, about whether or not I should consider leaving early.  I mean, I don't really like the job, and I'm getting to a point where I could take or leave Paris, and it would help a lot of the anxiety I'm having about moving back if I had some more time to get settled.  It's just a thought...if I left it wouldn't be until April or later, sometime in summer.  But I don't know, I'm too proud to really call it quits quite yet, but it's something to consider down the road.  I'm pretty sure asking me to play waitstaff could count as a violation of contract and I would be justified in breaking it.  Then again, seeing the sun for the first time in what feels like months made me a little more optimistic, maybe once the weather warms up I will too.  We'll see.  Just throwing it out there; feel free to send it right back.

Friday, January 7, 2011

I'm already slacking

...on my photos. Last night I was so tired when I got home I passed out by 11. On the bright side, I've been waking up at 5 am for no good reason the last 2 days but yesterday I slept until 8:30. It was nice. The family is out of town tomorrow so I don't have to work again til Monday at 5!!! Oh happy day. Is it sad or is it one of those "welcome to the real world" moments that I look forward to weekends as much as I do?

Anyway, photos 6 and 7 (for Steph James and others):

Day 6
I know this looks weird/gross/violent but hear me out. The above picture is my new favorite snack. Introduced to me by a girl named Sophie, bartender at Cafe Oz, it is cream cheese (well, fromage à tartiner here, because it's the closest thing we have, and I'm tempted to say I may like it better) with Thai sweet chili sauce on top. Eaten on crackers, or in my case, toasts. It's a delicious appetizer (which they call the "entree" here, which leads to beaucoup de confusion for anglophones like myself), don't knock it til you try it. Apparently it's a New Zealand thing. I did have to try a few grocery stores before I found the sauce, but I have plenty more for next time.

Day 7
For day 7 I present to you La Brulerie Caumartin (a.k.a., the moules-frites place). Moules frites are mussels served with french fries. Apparently french fries (or frites, or chips to you English people) are quite a classy side dish, as moules-frites and steak-frites and all sorts of other -frites are commonly found on menus citywide. I can't attest to whether or not this is normal outside of Paris. You get a big plate of mussels and french fries for 9 euros, so Connie and I would split the plate and a carafe of house wine for about 7 euros each and people watch through the window you see above the "LA" in the sign. I didn't eat here today, but I walked by it and got a little nostalgic, I'm going to have to find a replacement moules-frites partner to keep my lunch prices low.

That's all, I'm still tired, readjusting to a normal sleep schedule takes longer than it used to. This must be one of those signs of old age, like worse and worse hangovers after less and less alcohol. Growing up is not as much fun as I thought it would be when I was 5.

Oh and PS - I'm coming back after the fact to add this part: yesterday Frank asked me at the dinner table if being with them was encouraging me to have children. That is the THIRD TIME he or Cristine has asked me that I that obvious? Are they on to me? All I said was "we'll cross that bridge when we get there" and hopefully they will get the hint that they don't want to know the answer. My first reaction was "maybe I'll have them but give them back once they turn 13" but with the Boy right there I didn't think that would be tactful. But goodness do I fantasize about the day that I leave, never to see these people again, and the things I would like to tell them...

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life" - Thoreau

Apparently it's quite possible that "sucking all the marrow" out of something was quite a literal experience for Thoreau and those of his era.  I have officially sampled cow bone marrow (yes, BONE MARROW), a "rare treat" according to one website, generally supposed to be roasted and sprinkled with sea salt and eaten on toast.  Ours was cooked in a stew kind of meal, I suppose for flavor, like cooking with ham hocks.  It was very slimy and gelatinous, and when I scraped it out of the bone it just kind of made a weird sucking noise like cranberry sauce coming out of the can and landed with a sickening squelch on the side of my plate.  It looked like grey jello. (I even had an image of Bill Cosby from the Jello Jigglers commercials in the 90s going "IT JIGGLES!" in one of his sweaters)  Really, it wasn't a bad flavor.  It has lots of fat in it (and we all know fat tastes great) and the texture was kind of like a thinner version of flan (which they say they have here in France but it's a dirty lie and a fake, more on that later) and if I didn't know that I was eating bone marrow I might have liked it but I really couldn't get over it in my head.  Maybe I'll give it another try one day.  I hear they have it in some restaurants.
                    looked like this, but less presentable.                                          ...and of course Bill Cosby. Just had to throw that in there.

But yeah, that was really the most exciting part of my day.  Unfortunately I thought it would be rude to whip out my camera at the dinner table (like, "excuse me, do you mind if I take a picture of this dinner you've made me so I can show my friends back home what freak shows you all are?") so I didn't get to make that my picture of the day.
Instead, I give you Day 5: the metro.
Day 5: line  13 coming to take me home at Saint Lazare
I still like taking the metro, it feels very big city chic (although I'm fairly sure the truely chic take cabs).  I wish we had better public transport in America/in the South.  If biking here wasn't a constant threat to my life I'd do that too.  At least when it gets warmer.

Oh yeah, new years resolutions? Why not?

I always forget to make those so I have been keeping a running list mentally as I go. So far I have:
  1. Fall in love with Paris, finally (because lord knows I need to if I'm going to spend another 6 months here)
  2. Stop dwelling on the past, and the people in it .
  3. Start using a French press. Preferably one purchased in France. (It just feels classy)
I'll probably add some more as I go, I'm considering adding "reduce my online presence," as in cutting down on the information that is available about me. Foursquare and Spokeo freak me out. And something along the lines of "figure out my future" but that's been a general goal for the last 4 or 5 years now, so no sense in formalizing it yet again (it obviously wasn't that pressing the last several times).

Despite going to bed at 12 last night (relatively early considering my last few weeks) and being exhausted I woke up about 3 times and finally just gave in around 8 am, so I guess I'm up. I don't know what to do with this much time in the morning.

I've been needing a manicure anyway

Day 4/365
Day 4: the Girl and I gave each other manicures with the pink Hello Kitty nail polish I gave her for Christmas (I got a kiss on the cheek for it today, too...apparently she loves it. That'll get me about a week of good behavior. Way to have my back, Monoprix cosmetics).

I finally forced myself to wake up at a decent time despite only getting about 2 hours of sleep, so I'll be going to bed asap. Welcome back, normal sleep schedule, I've missed you.

Also exchanged the heels I bought on New Years Eve for my actual size, so now I have hot new heels to's always a good day when new shoes are involved.

I know there's other stuff I wanted to put here, but my mind is not functioning normally at the moment. I can barely write a sentence right now, let alone remember my whole day's worth of thoughts and find a way to be witty about it to boot.

Oh, and I forgot to post a few pictures that I really like from when Connie and Sean and I went up the towers at Notre Dame, and a few from Sainte Chapelle and some other random stuff...sorry I'm a slacker. I'll redeem myself eventually.  So voila:

So I totally stole this idea from a post card I saw once, but I still like it; gargoyle, the gold dome is the Church of the Invalides, and obviously the Eiffel Tower. The spire next to the dome might be the American Church in Paris, but I'm not sure about that one.
Too bad there was all the scaffolding, but this is the inside of Saint Chapelle, there's stained glass everywhere. I can't hold my camera still enough to take good low-lighting pictures though, they always turn out just a bit blurry.

also at Saint Chapelle

French motto on the Supreme Court house
Oh and I just felt like including this...a gospel choir singing the whitest/Frenchest rendition of Oh Happy Day I've ever heard at the mall on my way to Auchan.  I thought it deserved a photo.
Sorry I'm not all that entertaining. This is the kind of blog post only a mother could love.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Death by Chocolate

Day 3: Death by Chocolate
And now, dear followers, if you look to the left you will see my Christmas gift from Christine.  They are these amazing chocolate truffle things that seem to be coated in cocoa powder from a chocolatier called Anract (110 Rue de la Tour in the 16th, for future reference - the address indicates that she actually didn't think to get me anything until she picked up the Boy from school today, but it's a nice gesture none-the-less).  I ate the first one and thought that since it was so rich I probably wouldn't be able to eat more than one at a time...there's only one left at the moment.

So I completely failed to get my sleep schedule back on track, and stil slept all day (I didn't need to get the Girl until 5) but tomorrow I scheduled tea with Leanne at our favorite little tea shop...I'll have to remember the name next time (something about cherries).  So tonight, even though it's a bit late for a sleep aid, I will try to go to bed at a more-decent-than-usual hour.

Oh and the kids were really nice today. If I didn't know better I'd think they were actually happy to see me. Either that or my bribe-with-Christmas-gifts plan worked, at least temporarily. I was bribable when I was their age (there wasn't much I wouldn't do for a coke slurpee back in the day), so I guess I can't be too critical. Either way, I'll take it.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

it's 2011, but I hate the number 11

I've been slacking on photos and updates; frankly I've been bored and pessimistic so I didn't feel like doing a whole lot, or flaunting my lack of excitement for all the world to see. I'm the worst Parisian tourist ever.

New Years went well, I bought new shoes but I brought home the wrong size and they were closed when I went to return them (boo) but FSU got a win in Jimbo's first bowl game, I waited until the bar closed and went to breakfast with Matthew and Emma (the bartenders, and Eric-Pierre's-roommate stopped by as well) and went to bed around 9 am for the second night in a three-night streak. It was pretty successful if I do say so myself. Tonight I will probably have to take a Lunesta and get my sleep schedule back to semi-normal. I have shoes to exchange and children to watch tomorrow.

Here are some pics from Connie's last few days and New Years.

at the Opera house, even though we didn't get to go in (it was closed)

nativity scene at Notre Dame

Ice skating. This face pretty much sums up the whole experience.

At the airport after a hazardous RER trip. Connie's last pain au chocolate.

Midnight on New Years Eve/Day. I thought (along with hundreds of other people) that there would be fireworks...apparently not.
Also, I need some goals or projects, something to work on and get me more motivated than I currently am. So, as a new years resolution, I'm starting something called's apparently quite popular, but the idea is to take a photo every day.  I have a facebook album dedicated to it, but I'll try to update here for those of you who don't use facebook well or at all.  Here's what I have so far:
Day 1: I don't know who these people are but it made a nice picture.
Day 2: my gift from Steph James, finally some FSU stuff in this otherwise dismally decorated apartment.
So yeah. My life in a nutshell for those of you following.